Written by The Lekarev Report
July 2, 2008
The Lekarev Report
West Expects Israel to Strike Iran
The West believes that Israel is aware of the magnitude of the Iranian nuclear threat and assumes that the Jewish state will bomb Iran, ex-IDF intelligence officer Yossi Kuperwasser told Ynet yesterday. Kuperwasser, the former head of the IDF's Research and Assessment Division, believes that the Pentagon source's assessment that Israel will likely strike in Iran by the end of the year shows that the West assumes Israel will do the dirty work of taking out Iran's nuclear program.
The former senior officer, who for many years dealt with Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, said the most problematic issue was Tehran's ability to produce industrial quantities of high-grade uranium.
"Within a year to a year and a half, the Iranians will have enough uranium for a nuclear bomb," Kuperwasser says. "This is also the American intelligence estimate, which at the time was harshly criticized. As far as we know, the Iranians have not yet reached this capability - at the same time, they continue their research uninterrupted."
Turning his attention to the SA-20 aerial defense system purchased by Iran from Russia, Kuperwasser notes that the missile system, if installed in Iran and fully operable, will make an aerial strike considerably more difficult to carry out.
"This is a system that can protect against missiles and airplanes. The Iranians have another aerial system today, but they view it as inadequate. Clearly, every addition to the aerial defense system minimizes the effectiveness of an aerial strike," he says.
It is getting more and more clear to Israelis that the growing conviction in Jerusalem is that a strike is needed sooner rather than later, possibly as early as August-September. The most popular option being tossed around is November, shortly after the US election. However, very often the "most popular option tossed around" is not the real plan.
Now Officially Public
On Israeli state radio this morning, for the first time to our knowledge, the issue of the population's preparedness for the coming war was openly addressed.
Adi Eldar, Chairman of the Israeli Local Authorities Union (something comparable to the national Mayors' association in the USA) and Mayor of the northern city of Karmiel, said that municipalities must make their bomb shelters ready for occupancy and families must begin making preparations for the eventuality of war. Eldar's office functions within the Ministry of the Interior.
It really caught my attention when he noted that some bomb shelters in extremely strategic areas have been upgraded by government grants but that a large number are being restored "by charitable donations".
Eldar said that his office has been working hard to upgrade and repair bomb shelters with the budget they were allotted but that there is still an enormous amount of work to be done and the need is urgent.
In his radio interview, he urged leaders of local municipalities to make this a priority and in addition to preparing their shelters, to ascertain the special needs in their own communities (such as the elderly and the handicapped) and make a plan now for how they will be cared for.
I don't have to tell you that when an Israeli public official takes this message to the state radio, you KNOW the need is URGENT.
Thank you, Lekarev subscribers, for being an important part of this pressing need in Israel right now, July 2008, through your giving to Operation Issachar.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucherhr Mottaki said today in Teheran that an impending Israeli attack on his country's nuclear program is nonsense.
"Where Israel is today will not allow it to engage in regional adventurism," Mottaki told NBC News. "Israel is still facing the post-trauma of the attack against Lebanon in 2006. So we don't believe that Israel is in a position to be able to engage in another attack in the region."
Mottaki threatened that Iran's response to any attack would be widespread, regardless of whether the strike came from Israel or the United States. "It should be understood that all efforts should be made towards Israel avoiding a militaristic action in the region," he said.
If he really believes that, why did Iran move their missiles to point them directly at Israel's nuclear plant in Dimona??? And why did they threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz if the notion of an Israeli strike is just "nonsense"???
Direct Talks Imminent?
According to the Arabic language newspaper, Al-Hayat, published in London, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expects direct peace negotiations between Israel and Syria are on the horizon.
Yoram Turbowitz and Shalom Turgeman, Prime Minister Olmert's appointed representatives, arrived in Ankara yesterday to discuss, among other things, the possibility of launching direct talks with the Syrians. The fourth indirect round of talks is scheduled to begin in two weeks.
A date for the launching of the direct negotiations, as well as the level of the officials who will participate in them will be determined following Syrian President Bashar Assad's trip to Paris in about a week-and-a-half.
Earlier this week Assad dubbed the political climate in the Middle East "positive", and called on the EU to increase its involvement in the peace talks with Israel. Reportedly, France is also involved in promoting the talks between Syria and Israel.
Shalit Video Handed over to Cairo
Hamas has succumbed to Cairo's demands and handed over a new videotape of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit along with a handwritten letter from him, diplomatic sources told the weekly al-Ahram al-Arabi.
This is the second tape from Shalit, following an audiotape that was transferred a year ago. However, Israeli officials said they were unaware of the reported developments.
According to the report, the tape was transferred following demands from Cairo, in an effort to prove to Israel that Shalit is still alive. The diplomatic sources also said that former Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five consecutive life terms in an Israeli prison, is among the prisoners Hamas wants in exchange for Shalit.
The sources added that Israel is demanding that Egypt and Hamas guarantee that the prisoners, if released, will not renew their terror career.
In the next few days Egyptian mediators plan to hold meetings with both Hamas representatives and Israeli officials in order to draft the final clauses of a deal that would secure Gilad Shalit's release.
REMINDER: Today, July 2nd, is the worldwide prayer rally for Gilad Shalit's release, as I posted a few days ago. We are all being asked to pray Psalm 121 specifically for him at the same time worldwide. Israelis will stop to pray this Psalm at 6 pm this evening, Israeli time.
That will be 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time in the USA (east coast time) and 8:00 am Pacific time. Please calculate your local time and join us in this world wide outpouring of prayer on behalf of our soldier.
Eight Mossad Agents Honored
President Shimon Peres awarded the Israel Defense Prize to eight Mossad agents yesterday, for their part in an unusually complex operation. The operation, which remains secret, entailed the use of some of the most sophisticated technology available, allowing its outcome to make a pivotal contribution to Israel's security.
The ceremony was held at the president's official residence in Jerusalem. The obvious sensitive nature of the situation prevented those attending it from taking any photographs, and the entire event - along with the winners themselves - was heavily guarded by Shin Bet officers.
The names of the honorees is also a state secret, lest their identities put them in danger.
The Israel Defense Prize is awarded for outstanding execution of a project which contributes to Israel's security and the preservation of its military, technological and operational edge.
"We are here to thank the people who have dedicated their lives to inventing something unique; who are spending all their time to giving Israel an edge. I don't know of any other country where so many people are willing to go so far beyond the call of duty. I thank you," said Peres.
May they be blessed by Hashem for their self-sacrificing and dangerous work in service to the Land and People of Israel.
SOURCE: The Lekarev Report